Derek Carr to Cleveland Browns a Done Deal?
The writing could be on the wall in terms of what the Cleveland Browns plan on doing at the quarterback position in the 2014 NFL Draft. After cutting failed experiment Brandon Weeden earlier in the off-season, the Browns have been swept up in numerous rumors involving quarterback prospects.
The latest might actually carry some actual weight, however.
While there had already been much speculation about who the Browns could be thinking about taking with one of their two first round picks, it’s starting to look like Cleveland only has eyes for Fresno State passer, Derek Carr.
The Browns have already seen Carr up close and personal in a workout at the end of March, while head coach Mike Pettine openly gushed about Carr, saying he is the “best natural thrower in the draft”. Cleveland’s visit with Carr and Pettine’s endorsement are one thing, but according to recent reports, the “Carr to Cleveland” rumors have heated up and the Browns are said to “really love” the Fresno State product.
Cleveland, like many of the top teams, are not expected to spend a top pick on the quarterback position, however, which should allow Carr and others quarterbacks to drop. That could potentially be music to the Browns ears, as their second pick in the first round is the 26th overall selection. It’s there, according to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, that Cleveland should look to snag Carr.
Other Options Beyond Carr
Of course, the draft rumor mill has been alive and well since January, which could have the Browns loving and/or drafting Carr at the 26th spot being a draft day mirage. If that’s the case, it’s only right to consider Cleveland’s other options. With the number four overall pick in this year’s draft, they obviously need to be in the mix for a premiere passer like Johnny Manziel, Blake Bortles or Teddy Bridgewater. However, with the Browns not expected to take a passer early, it’s much more likely that Cleveland starts getting tied more to LSU’s Zach Mettenberger or Eastern Illinois product, Jimmy Garoppolo.
Mettenberger makes the most sense of the two, and aside from Carr appears to be the most likely option at the 26th spot. Blessed with prototypical size and arm strength, Mettenberger seems to be a tad underrated despite having first round “measureables”.
Garoppolo isn’t nearly as physically imposing or impressive as Mettenberger, but has skyrocketed up draft boards thanks to insane college production, as well as solid accuracy and a quick release. He’s a much more likely candidate for the second round, should the Browns choose to bypass a passer in round one, altogether.
Ultimately, it appears the Browns truly are enamored with Derek Carr and will take him with the 26th overall pick if he’s still available. Cleveland will just have to cross their fingers some other team doesn’t fall in love with him and take him first. With several teams such as the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings and possibly even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being in play for a quarterback in round one, that could be a real concern the Browns need to worry about.
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